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Old 05-27-2020, 08:56 PM   #1
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Dog on a boat overnight

Doozy is a 25# Australian Labradoodle and full-fledged crew member. We'd like to anchor overnight with her but do not have a dinghy (even with a dinghy, there aren't always available places to go ashore).

Assume some TF members have figured this out, purchased or rigged a convenient system, and taught their furry friends how to use it.

Pls share what you know - hate leaving my buddy home with a dog sitter.
Thx -
Jim
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Old 05-27-2020, 09:12 PM   #2
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Train at home first to go on a square of Astro turf on the patio. Reward him for doing so. They have been trained not to go in the home and the boat is the home, so it will be a change for him. And take time.

Put a hole and line through the Astro turf so that you can trail it behind the boat to clean. If in the US you may chose to pick it up and discard later. If off shore or in the islands this is not a choice.

Two things. Do not put human feelings on your pooch. You need to go first thing in the morning so feel that they have to. You can't hold it for eight hours so feel that it would be hurting the dog if they did. They can and do go much longer, it won't hurt them.

Secondly, when training you will have to wait the dog out - he will go on the boat eventually. Just try and keep him to the cockpit. When our last dog first started going on the boat she went to the furthest point on the bow as she felt that was as far away from the house that she could get. We shut the door to the bow to encourage her to go in the cockpit. A lot of times when the conditions are so bad that you can't get your dog ashore, the bow is not the place for him to be!

One final thought. You may never be able to train your dog to go on the boat. So you may have to tailor plans around that.
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Old 05-27-2020, 09:30 PM   #3
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Thx - all good suggestions & advice.
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Old 05-27-2020, 09:37 PM   #4
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When I had my (previous) dog aboard he went 48 hours the first time. I asked my vet and she said he would not explode At that point he went up to the bow and used a scrap of jib that was outside the sail cover. (As Comodave said, I think he wanted to get as far away from "the house" as possible.) I praised him lavishly of course.

I say that just so you are mentally prepared for a bit of a wait. But who knows, maybe your pup will take to it right off.
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Old 05-27-2020, 09:42 PM   #5
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Never did figure out the on-board method with our dogs, they just wouldn't do #1 or #2 on the boat. It was to shore in the dink or nothing, even after long travel days getting in late. Some dogs, though, will adapt to it. Good luck.
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Old 05-27-2020, 09:43 PM   #6
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(As Comodave said, I think he wanted to get as far away from "the house" as possible.) .
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Old 05-28-2020, 12:59 AM   #7
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We have a specific phrase of words for our Lab to go to the bathroom. Whenever he goes, at home or on the boat, I always use the same words. He now knows when I say it he starts looking for someplace to go. We use it before getting into the truck also. And it saves time. We also used the Astro Turf method at home first and then took the same piece aboard so he would smell his pee on it. Dogs can wait 24, 36 or even more hours when they donít want to go where you want them to. Our bet said no problem just wait them out. Once they do it we would get excited and pet him, good boy, etc. we usually dock at night so it isnít a long term problem. But he is ready to go when we dock.
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Old 05-28-2020, 01:00 AM   #8
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I get no respect I tell ya, no respect!
Maybe we both think alike so the others confuse us... or not.
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Old 05-28-2020, 01:02 AM   #9
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Try to anchor close to shore and swim the dog ashore a few times. Then he'll bark to get off the boat once he knows the routine, just like he would bark to go out at home.
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Old 05-28-2020, 01:30 AM   #10
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Another trick with the astro turf that we used was to wait for them to pee before you leave home and rub the astro turf in it to get his smell on it. Seem to help on the boat if he smells it - figures out that that is the spot for him - because he has been there before.


And I endorse their ability to go long peeriods - as a 69 year old male I am extremely envious - we were out last weekend and our two year old male poodle got a trip ashore about 1730ish and next morning at about 0730. In the morning he was happy to go ashore but hunted around for a while to find the perfect rock - I didn`t hear any huge ahhhhh while he was doing it
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Old 05-28-2020, 01:33 AM   #11
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Try to anchor close to shore and swim the dog ashore a few times. Then he'll bark to get off the boat once he knows the routine, just like he would bark to go out at home.
We had 2 Golden Retrievers that we did that. Throw a ball near shore and they would both launch off the boat. After they went we would call them and they would swim back to the boat. They would stand on the stern drive and then stand up on the swim platform on their own. Worked well but that was on a smaller inland lake, maybe not as workable on more open waters.
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Old 05-28-2020, 05:47 AM   #12
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"Try to anchor close to shore and swim the dog ashore a few times.:


NOT in Florida tho.
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Old 05-28-2020, 06:30 AM   #13
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Training the dogs to swim ashore will save you the hassle of taking them (if you see it as a hassle). What it will not help you with is having them go when the conditions are not good for dinghying ashore - can be a regular occurrance in the islands. Also if you have a long run - say crossing from West Palm to Lucaya, or other twelve hours days, you would want the pooch to feel he can go whenever.
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Old 05-28-2020, 06:48 AM   #14
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I read a while ago that on a boat, the distinction between inside and outside isn’t so obvious to dogs. The outside “floor” is pretty much the same as the inside floor to them. And they know what happens if they go on a floor.

We waited out our dog, over 24 hours until he finally picked his spot. We praised him and gave him treats to reinforce the behavior. After the second time, we never had a problem. We just hose it down, no mat.

Going ashore isn’t an option for long days and overnighters. I don’t like holding it in all day so, I’m not going to impose that on my dog.
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Old 05-28-2020, 07:31 AM   #15
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Quote:
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"Try to anchor close to shore and swim the dog ashore a few times.:


NOT in Florida tho.
Why ?? Crocs ??
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Old 05-28-2020, 08:10 AM   #16
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I get no respect I tell ya, no respect!
Or all the respect you deserve.

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Old 05-28-2020, 08:40 AM   #17
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We have only had one long trip with our doggie on the bigger boat but we were never able to get our older pit bull to go on the boat, she was not going to no matter what. We tried the mat, we tried the already used by her mat. We tried waiting her out. We tried the code word, she was having none of it. Of course we were also having trouble with the new to us outboard on the dink and we didn't trust it, it has since been fixed. So we found ways to get her off the boat at least twice a day but I brought Charlie Noble into some scary skinny waters to get into boat ramp docks, after hours fuel docks, and a few floating docks that were around some of the bridges for people to fish from. Thankfully I never bumped the bottom but I'm sure we turned up some mud.
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Old 05-28-2020, 08:55 AM   #18
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Why ?? Crocs ??
I you wanted to catch a gator quick all you would need for bait is a small dog rigged with a hook on a chain. Had a golfer a few years back too cheap to leave his ball in the lagoon.. He was lucky and only lost an arm. A woman walking her little dog around the edge of a lagoon wasn't so lucky. Gator took the bait and she went in to save the dog. I didn't end well. Then there are oyster rakes and rattlesnakes. I wouldn't send a dog unattended to an island. Maybe if it had a wide sandy beach.
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Old 05-28-2020, 10:25 AM   #19
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Or all the respect you deserve.

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Old 05-28-2020, 11:15 AM   #20
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I liveaboard and have had a series of Labs. When first training them, I close off all but the deck area they are allowed to use for going purposes. Eventually they go. Works even with previously house broken dogs.

Anchored, usually in remote places, I have a ramp that allows my dog to get back on the boat from the water. If I'm close to shore, she sometimes goes ashore on her own to take care of business.
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